We don’t cover too much stuff on the Danish cartoon controversy — to be honest, it’s too depressing and hopeless, and Tom has been doing a bang-up job of keeping up with it. But once in a while a story comes along that bear mentioning. It seems two Azeri journalists have been jailed for publishing the Mohammad cartoons:
On November 1, Senet newspaper published the cartoons that Muslim clerics had denounced when they first appeared in a Danish daily in February, sparking protests in which more than 50 people were killed in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
“These journalists have been charged under article 283.2.2 for using their profession to stir up racial hatred,” said a court spokesman in Baku, capital of the ex-Soviet, largely Muslim state.
Rafika Tagi, the journalist who wrote the Senet article illustrated by the Mohammed cartoons, said prior to his arrest that he had committed no offence.
“We don’t live in a religious state and it’s impossible to suppress freedom of speech,” he said.
According to the wire report, demonstrators had demanded death for the two. As Dirk and Tom both note in their reports, there are many conflicting reports about exactly what happened here, but the net result seems to be depressing and hopeless.